Sometimes The Lies Are Just Funny

The Daily Caller posted an article today about President Obama’s claim that he started the oil boom in America. Somehow that’s not the way I remember it.

The article reports:

Former president of Shell Oil Company John Hofmeister said former President Barack Obama had nothing to do with America’s increased oil production and actually frustrated many areas of the energy sector.

Obama claimed he was responsible for America’s recent oil boom during an event hosted by Rice University’s Baker Institute on Tuesday night and Hofmeister challenged his assessment.

…“The facts are the facts. And, yes, the production did increase throughout his term,” Hofmeister said on “Fox & Friends” Thursday. “But, frankly, he had nothing to do with it.”

“This was production in states like Texas, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Colorado — North Dakota in particular. And these were all state decisions made with industry applications for permits. The federal government had no role.”

The article notes the roadblocks President Obama put in the way of accessing American oil:

Hofmeister said Obama opposed the energy industry at every turn with his actions against offshore drilling and his handling of the Keystone Pipeline.

“If anything, he was trying to frustrate the efforts by taking federal lands off of the availability list — putting them just, no more drilling [sic]. He shut down the Gulf of Mexico for a period of six months,” he said. “[He] changed the regulations from an average of 60 to 80 pages per permit to 600 to 800 pages per permit. He also never approved the Keystone XL pipeline after dangling all the potential customers for eight years. And it was in the eighth year when he said no Keystone Pipeline.”

“I would say that he was not a leader when it comes to energy,” Hofmeister said.

As far as President Obama’s opposition to the Keystone Pipeline goes, as long as that pipeline was not built, the oil was shipped via the Burlington Northern Santa Fe railroad, owned by Berkshire Hathaway, owned by Warren Buffett, a close friend of President Obama. On February 21, 2013, I reported the following (article here):

If the Obama administration holds firm on blocking Keystone, the big loser will be TransCanada Corporation. But who will the big winners be? American railroads:

And of them, the biggest winner might just be the Burlington Northern Santa Fe, which is owned by Berkshire Hathaway, the conglomerate controlled by Obama supporter and Omaha billionaire Warren Buffett. In December, the CEO of BNSF, Matthew Rose, said that his railroad was shipping about 500,000 barrels of oil per day out of the Bakken Shale in North Dakota and that it was seeking a permit to send “crude by rail to the Pacific Northwest.” He also said the railroad expects to “eventually” be shipping 1 million barrels of oil per day.

President Obama did not facilitate the energy independence of America. He did, however, do a pretty good job of lining the pockets of some good friends.

What Did He Actually Do?

On Thursday, The Washington Examiner posted a list of accomplishments of President Trump. The list is divided into categories. Please follow the link to the article to read the entire list, but I will list a few highlights.

Under the category of jobs and the economy:

  • Passage of the tax reform bill providing $5.5 billion in cuts and repealing the Obamacare mandate.
  • Increase of the GDP above 3 percent.
  • Creation of 1.7 million new jobs, cutting unemployment to 4.1 percent.
  • Saw the Dow Jones reach record highs.
  • A rebound in economic confidence to a 17-year high.
  • A new executive order to boost apprenticeships.
  • A move to boost computer sciences in Education Department programs.
  • Prioritizing women-owned businesses for some $500 million in SBA loans.

Under Killing job-stifling regulations:

  • Made good on his campaign promise to withdraw from the Trans-Pacific Partnership.
  • Opened up the North American Free Trade Agreement for talks to better the deal for the U.S.
  • Worked to bring companies back to the U.S., and companies like Toyota, Mazda, Broadcom Limited, and Foxconn announced plans to open U.S. plants.
  • Worked to promote the sale of U.S products abroad.
  • Made enforcement of U.S. trade laws, especially those that involve national security, a priority.
  • Ended Obama’s deal with Cuba.

Under Boosting U.S. energy dominance:

  • The Department of Interior, which has led the way in cutting regulations, opened plans to lease 77 million acres in the Gulf of Mexico for oil and gas drilling.
  • Trump traveled the world to promote the sale and use of U.S. energy.
  • Expanded energy infrastructure projects like the Keystone XL Pipeline snubbed by Obama.
  • Ordered the Environmental Protection Agency to kill Obama’s Clean Power Plan.
  • EPA is reconsidering Obama rules on methane emissions.

Much of this has gone unreported. Please follow the link to the article to see the entire list.

The Keystone Pipeline Will Be Good For The Environment, But You Might Have To Search A Bit To Find That Story

On March 24th, The New York Post posted an article about the environmental impact of the Keystone Pipeline. I would like to point out that none of the environmental studies on the pipeline done during the Obama Administration ever stated that the pipeline would harm the environment. The objection to the pipeline at that point was that if President Obama allowed the pipeline to be built, the Democratic Party would lose the donations of the radical environmental groups. If they refused to build the pipeline, they would lose a large portion of donations from unions. They made a choice to keep the environmentalists happy and ignore the unions who wanted the jobs the pipeline would create.

The article points out:

Environmentalists like to tout scary spill statistics. But in actuality, oil travels most securely by pipeline, reaching its destination safely 99.999 percent of the time, according to the Association of Oil Pipe Lines and the American Petroleum Institute.

A recent study by Canada’s Fraser Institute provided more reassuring information: Of the rare spills that do occur, 83 percent happen in facilities specially equipped to handle them, not along the pipeline’s route, where they could cause environmental harm. Moreover, 70 percent of the spills that do occur amount to a total of less than a cubic meter of spilled oil.

The article explains the impact of alternative forms of transporting oil:

As energy-related rail traffic increased, 2013 alone saw more train-related crude-oil spills than the entire 37 years prior, combined. And between 2013 and 2015 alone, the United States and Canada saw 10 separate explosions involving oil-laden trains.

To understand how much riskier railway transportation can be, look no further than to Lac-Mégantic, Quebec. In 2013, a crude-oil train derailed, plowing into town at more than 62 miles per hour and exploding. Forty-seven people died, and the blaze wiped out 44 buildings.

The wreck unleashed nearly 1.5 million gallons of oil, and what didn’t char the town seeped into the soil and contaminated the nearby Chaudière River.

Transporting oil by truck also carries major risks. At the peak of the oil boom, The New York Times reported that highway fatalities were the top cause of deaths in the industry — more than 300 between 2002 and 2012. In North Dakota, highway fatalities skyrocketed as energy production soared; at one point, a person was killed in an accident every two-and-a-half days.

A 100 percent risk-free method of energy transportation doesn’t exist, and the Obama administration was well aware of the comparative risks of pipeline, rail and road. Five separate State Department studies examined safety and environmental concerns surrounding the pipeline. Their findings were consistently favorable to Keystone XL.

The most recent State Department report concluded that because of pipelines’ superior safety record, Keystone XL could prevent as many as six fatalities and 48 injuries each year.

Without the pipeline, the oil would travel by truck and rail. Both of these methods have a higher carbon footprint and a higher risk than a pipeline. It is also no coincidence that without the pipeline the Burlington Northern Santa Fe railroad is transporting large amounts of oil through the area where the pipeline will be built. The railroad is owned by Berkshire Hathaway, a conglomerate controlled by Warren Buffett, a close friend of former President Obama. The delay of the Keystone Pipeline was truly a case of ‘follow the money.’

A President Who Does Not Follow The Constitution Impacts Other Countries–Not Only America

Today’s Wall Street Journal featured a very good article entitled, “Why We’re Suing Obama Over Keystone.” The article was written by Kristine Kelkus, an executive vice president and general counsel at TransCanada. I strongly suggest you follow the link above and read the entire article, but I am including a few excerpts from the article that illustrate how damaging an out-of-control President has been to our country and our neighbors.

The article reports:

For 65 years, TransCanada has built oil and gas pipelines in North America. It’s a job the company is good at, and one we much prefer to building lengthy legal filings that could take several years to resolve. Still, when TransCanada in 2008 walked its application for a presidential permit into the U.S. State Department, the company was prepared for an extensive evidentiary process—albeit one that has traditionally been straightforward.

Until the Keystone XL pipeline, no U.S. administration had prohibited the cross-border construction of a major oil pipeline. And within the past decade, U.S. regulators approved two very similar, large cross-border pipelines that transport exactly the same type of oil that the Keystone XL pipeline would have carried from the same region in Alberta, Canada, to the U.S.

TransCanada already operates the initial Keystone pipeline, which was approved in 2008. And in 2009 the State Department under Secretary Hillary Clinton and Mr. Obama permitted Enbridge, a direct competitor to TransCanada, to build another. Each of these permit reviews took about two years.

…But environmental activists made rejection of the project a litmus test of the president’s climate-change credentials. The State Department’s official Record of Decision reasoned that permitting the pipeline to proceed would “undermine U.S. climate leadership” because “the understanding of the international community”—contrary to the administration’s own findings—was that the pipeline would increase greenhouse-gas emissions. Permitting construction would “undercut the credibility and influence of the United States” in negotiating with other countries, including at the coming Paris climate conference.

In other words, the pipeline and its benefits were sacrificed to increase the president’s negotiating leverage with other countries.

My first reaction to this article was to wonder who runs Enbridge, if campaign contributions were involved, and if Berkshire Hathaway owns the railway that was carrying the oil before the Enbridge pipeline was built (see here).

The article further concludes:

The administration’s actions harm business and public interests that extend far beyond a particular pipeline. The decision calls into question the entire process for cross-border facility approvals. It strongly suggests that investing in the U.S. is subject to a level of “sovereign risk” usually associated with far less developed economies.

Unless they are remedied in court or arbitration, the Keystone decision and the political expediency underlying it will also encourage future administrations to conclude that they, too, can disregard the most basic legal requirements.

We need a President who puts the interests of all Americans above the interests of special interest groups and major contributors.

The Direct Impact Of Campaign Money On Decisions That Affect All Americans

The Keystone Pipeline has been studied, found to be harmless to the environment, and rejected. The political forces behind the rejection of the Keystone Pipeline have very little to do with the pipeline itself–they have to do with campaign money flowing into Democratic campaign coffers. The unions support the Keystone Pipeline–it will produce jobs and move America toward energy independence, which is also a national security issue. The environmentalists oppose the pipeline because it involves carbon-based fuel, and they still believe that we can run our economy on the flapping of butterfly wings. Both of these groups are important contributors to Democratic campaigns. That is the reason deliberation on the pipeline took so long before it was finally turned down.

TransCanada, the people who would build the pipeline, are not impressed by America’s political decisions. The Wall Street Journal reported today that TransCanada is bringing an international arbitration case against the U.S. for not treating the Canadian company the way it would an American company, as it is obliged to do under the North American Free Trade Agreement.

The article reports:

That was the story last week out of Kenya, where U.S. Ambassador Robert Godec told Kenya’s energy minister that Washington would help Nairobi raise $18 billion to finance its PowerAfrika project. The pipeline would stretch from Kenya’s Rift Valley to Lamu on the coast. “Kenya needs $18 billion worth of financing,” Mr. Godec said, according to a dispatch in Oilprice.com, “so one of the questions we are discussing is how we can work together with the private sector and governments to raise that sum, to find ways to make certain that this financing becomes available.”

Has Mr. Godec checked with Secretary of State John Kerry, or, perhaps more important, anti-oil Democratic financier Tom Steyer? Kenya and Northeast Africa could certainly use the investment and jobs that would come from the oil project. Then again, so could the United States. What’s with the double standard on pipelines?

The article mentions that TransCanada is asking $15 billion on costs and damages. Multiple reviews of the Keystone Pipeline showed that it would not harm the environment, but President Obama rejected the pipeline anyway. TransCanada has also filed a suit in U.S. federal court alleging that President Obama’s decision to block Keystone exceeded his constitutional authority.

Get out the popcorn, this is going to be entertaining. The article also notes that American taxpayers need to keep an eye on government spending to make sure they are not funding the Kenyan project while being denied their own project.

The decision was delayed in order to postpone the political consequences as long as possible. At some point President Obama decided that the environmentalists were a more important ally than the unions. There was no rational excuse for the decision to block the Keystone Pipeline–it was a political decision driven by money.

The Battle For The Keystone XL Pipeline Continues

Yahoo Finance reported yesterday that Nebraska’s highest court has cleared the pathway of the Keystone XL Pipeline through Nebraska.

The article reports:

Justice William Connolly, writing for the judges who wanted to block the project, criticized dissenters for refusing to address its legality. Those three judges argued the property owners who challenged the pipeline don’t have the right to sue.

“Because the case presents a matter of great public concern, the citizens of this state deserve a decision on the merits,” Connolly wrote. Lawyers for the property owners and some pipeline opponents said Keystone XL may still be subject to legal challenge in Nebraska, once TransCanada reveals its path and begins condemnation proceedings as soon as this month.

However, the real battle for the Pipeline will be centered in Washington.

The article reports:

The U.S. Senate Energy Committee yesterday passed a measure seeking to force approval of the pipeline, which along with the House vote sets up a confrontation with Obama, who has pledged to veto such legislation. The full Senate is to take up the issue next week, Republican Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky has said.

It will be interesting to see how this plays out. In the past when Senators voted on the Pipeline, the vote was symbolic. Now the vote actually means something. President Obama is expected to veto the Pipeline, and Congress will need a two-thirds majority to override that veto. The majority of Americans say that they support the Pipeline, so it will be interesting to see in Congress is listening to the people it is supposed to represent.

Sometimes I Hate Politics

The Keystone Pipeline is something that will help energy independence in America, boost the American economy, and provide jobs for Americans. In 2012, the Pipeline was blocked in the Senate because the Republicans could not break the Democrat filibuster. President Obama has been running interference to prevent approval of the Pipeline since he took office. But now things have changed.

Fox News posted an article today about Congress’ latest moves regarding the Keystone Pipeline. It will be interesting to see if the Pipeline gets approved this time. The possibility of approval has nothing to do with the American economy, jobs, or energy independence. It has to do with the runoff election to be held in Louisiana next month involving Democrat Senator Mary Landrieu.

The article reports:

White House spokesman Josh Earnest, traveling with President Obama in Burma, told reporters that the president takes a “dim view” of legislative efforts to force action on the project. Earnest stopped short of threatening a veto, but reiterated Obama’s preference for evaluating the pipeline through a long-stalled State Department review. Obama has repeatedly ordered such reviews under pressure from environmental groups, who say the project would contribute to climate change. 

Landrieu, who is thought to be trailing Cassidy ahead of their Dec. 6 runoff election, wants to deliver a win for the energy industry by pushing Keystone. The measure was one she co-sponsored with Sen. John Hoeven, R-N.D., back in May. 

“We can pass the Keystone pipeline and answer the frustrations of the American people,” she said. “So they could rest next and say, oh my gosh the senators of the United States of America have ears and they have brains and they have hearts and they heard what we said and we can do this.” 

The irony here is that Tom Steyer, a rather extreme environmentalist, pledged to contribute $100 million to anti-Keystone Democrats during the mid-term election. The Democrats took the money. How soon they forget.

The ideal outcome for the Democrats in this situation would be for the bill to be filibustered again. That way Senator Landrieu could say she tried,  the environmentalists who oppose the pipeline would still be happy because the bill failed, and Warren Buffett, whose company Berkshire Hathaway owns the railroad transporting the oil because there is no pipeline (see rightwinggranny), would still be making money with his railroad. The only people who would lose are Americans who want energy independence, the American economy, and people who want jobs. But if the Democrats win the runoff, they won’t worry about such trivial things.

The Mainstream Media Continues Its Demonization Of The Koch Brothers

The Koch Brothers seem to be the target of the day for the mainstream media (and Senator Harry Reid). They have been singled out as the poster child for big money flowing into politics. Opensecrets.org, a website that tracks political donations shows the Koch Brothers as number 59 on their list of biggest political donors? When was the last time number 59 got any kind of publicity?

The latest attack on the Koch Brothers is an article in the Washington Post which lists them as a major lease holder in Canadian Oil Sands. John Hinderaker at Power Line posted an article yesterday which shows that supposed fact to be a total lie.

The story at Power Line points out:

So the fundamental point of the Post story, which relied uncritically on a goofball far-left report, is dead wrong. Moreover, the Post story itself acknowledges that the tar sands encompass 35 million acres, so Koch’s 1.1 million comprise less than 3% of the total. The whole point of this exercise is to make the Keystone Pipeline all about Koch, and that premise is implausible from the start.

Somehow the story in the Washington Post neglects to mention who profits by the Keystone Pipeline NOT being built. On February 12, I posted that story (rightwinggranny.com).

As previously posted from another Power Line article:

If the Obama administration holds firm on blocking Keystone, the big loser will be TransCanada Corporation. But who will the big winners be? American railroads:

And of them, the biggest winner might just be the Burlington Northern Santa Fe, which is owned by Berkshire Hathaway, the conglomerate controlled by Obama supporter and Omaha billionaire Warren Buffett. In December, the CEO of BNSF, Matthew Rose, said that his railroad was shipping about 500,000 barrels of oil per day out of the Bakken Shale in North Dakota and that it was seeking a permit to send “crude by rail to the Pacific Northwest.” He also said the railroad expects to “eventually” be shipping 1 million barrels of oil per day.

The article at rightwinggranny.com also lists some other interests connected to legislators that will profit if the Keystone Pipeline is not built.

As usual, follow the money–even when the mainstream media totally misreports whose money is involved.

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Following The Money On The Keystone Pipeline

In February of last year, I posted an article explaining how the delay of the Keystone Pipeline is making money for Warren Buffett (rightwinggranny.com). The article included the following quote from John Hinderaker at Power Line:

If the Obama administration holds firm on blocking Keystone, the big loser will be TransCanada Corporation. But who will the big winners be? American railroads:

And of them, the biggest winner might just be the Burlington Northern Santa Fe, which is owned by Berkshire Hathaway, the conglomerate controlled by Obama supporter and Omaha billionaire Warren Buffett. In December, the CEO of BNSF, Matthew Rose, said that his railroad was shipping about 500,000 barrels of oil per day out of the Bakken Shale in North Dakota and that it was seeking a permit to send “crude by rail to the Pacific Northwest.” He also said the railroad expects to “eventually” be shipping 1 million barrels of oil per day.

However, it seems as if Warren Buffett is not the only one benefiting from the delay of the Keystone Pipeline. The Washington Free Beacon posted an article today highlighting some other people who have a financial interest in making sure the Keystone Pipeline is not built.

Senator Tim Kaine (D., Va.) is one of the people opposed to the construction  of the Keystone Pipeline.

The Washington Free Beacon reports:

The freshman Democrat (Senator Kaine) has between $15,000 and $50,000 invested in Kinder Morgan Energy Partners, according to his most recent financial disclosure. Kinder Morgan is looking to build a pipeline that would directly compete with Keystone.

Kinder Morgan is considering expanding its Canadian pipeline infrastructure with an expansion of the Trans Mountain Pipeline, which carries oil sands crude from Alberta to refineries and export terminals on Canada’s west coast.

The expansion would boost Trans Mountain’s capacity to 890,000 barrels per day. Keystone, a project of energy company TransCanada, is expected to carry about 830,000 barrels per day if fully constructed.

Observers have said a rejection of Keystone would be a boon for Kinder Morgan, since the Trans Mountain pipeline presents a viable alternative for exporting crude from Canadian oil sands.

The article reminds us:

The availability of alternatives to Keystone—from Kinder Morgan and Enbridge, another TransCanada competitor and Canada’s largest crude oil transporter—is integral to the State Department’s assessment that approving the pipeline will have little impact on carbon emissions, President Barack Obama’s stated standard for approval.

Another Congressman has investments in Enbridge:

Another anti-Keystone Democrat, California Rep. Alan Lowenthal, has between $15,000 and $50,000 invested in Enbridge Energy Management, $1,000 to $15,000 in Kinder Morgan Energy Partners, and $15,000 to $50,000 in Kinder Morgan Management, which is a limited partner in and handles everyday management for the company’s Energy Partners subsidiary.

Lowenthal has been less outspoken then Kaine on Keystone, but he voted against legislation last year that would have approved the pipeline without sign-off from the administration, which has repeatedly put off a decision on the project.

He was also one of 22 Democrats to sign a December letter to U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman insisting that the Keystone Pipeline would be detrimental to the environment.

Shouldn’t Congressmen who have a vested financial interest in a vote taken by Congress be forced to abstain from that vote? This seems to be an example of Congressmen padding their own pockets while blocking a project that would provide jobs for many unemployed Americans.

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Following The Money On The Keystone Pipeline

 

My reason for supporting the Keystone Pipeline is that it will provide a source of energy for America that is based in North America and provided by someone that actually likes America. To me, that is a security consideration and should be considered. However, there are also some very interesting reasons for blocking the pipeline–none of which have any relationship to the environment.

John Hinderaker posted an article at Power Line today entitled,”Blocking the Keystone Pipeline: Who Benefits?”

Mr. Hinderaker points out:

If the Obama administration holds firm on blocking Keystone, the big loser will be TransCanada Corporation. But who will the big winners be? American railroads:

And of them, the biggest winner might just be the Burlington Northern Santa Fe, which is owned by Berkshire Hathaway, the conglomerate controlled by Obama supporter and Omaha billionaire Warren Buffett. In December, the CEO of BNSF, Matthew Rose, said that his railroad was shipping about 500,000 barrels of oil per day out of the Bakken Shale in North Dakota and that it was seeking a permit to send “crude by rail to the Pacific Northwest.” He also said the railroad expects to “eventually” be shipping 1 million barrels of oil per day.

Isn’t it an incredible coincidence that Warren Buffet, one of President Obama’s biggest supporters, will benefit greatly if the pipeline is stopped. Who will lose? American workers who need jobs.

The article points out that because the oil from Canada can be transported by rail (instead of pipeline), American refineries are already being built to handle the increased amount of oil. Stopping the pipeline has no impact on the flow of oil–only on the way it is transported. Therefore, stopping the pipeline has no impact on the environment–in fact the pipeline probably has a lower carbon footprint than the railroad!

This story is another example of why you should never assume that the mainstream media is actually reporting the news. That’s why we need the Internet!

 

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The Pipeline That Won’t Die

The Keystone Pipeline is reviving itself again. Yesterday’s Washington Times reported that TransCanada, the company seeking to build the massive Canada-to-Texas Keystone XL pipeline reapplied for a permit on Friday. Here we go again.

The good news here is that TransCanada would rather sell its oil to America and send it through the Keystone Pipeline than sell its oil to China and build a pipeline to Canada’s west coast. The bad news is that if the Obama Administration delays the approval until after the 2012 election. the Keystone Pipeline may be moot–the pipeline across Canada may have already been started.

The article reports:

“Today there is just one person standing in the way of tens of thousands of new American jobs: President Obama,” said House Speaker John A. Boehner, Ohio Republican. “After nearly four years of review, delay and politics, he is out of excuses for blocking this job-creating energy project any longer. Every state along the proposed route supports the pipeline, and its builder has jumped through every bureaucratic hoop.”

Nebraska officials were split on the earlier pipeline route, but have reportedly come to an understanding over a new route to the east of the sensitive Ogalallah Aquifer.

The State Department, which has a role in the approval process because the pipeline would cross the U.S.-Canada border, said in a statement that it had received the application and would put it through “a rigorous, transparent and thorough review.”

The delay in the pipeline represents a division within the Democrat party–the environmentalists oppose the pipeline and the unions support it. If the President wants to collect money from both groups, he has to put off a decision until after the election. However, there is another theory. After the President has collected all the money he can from Hollywood (representing the environmentalists), he can go ahead and approve the pipeline in order to gain campaign donations from the unions. I am not sure I believe that because there is no danger of the unions supporting Republicans and the unions do tend to be financially involved in elections.

Approving the Keystone Pipeline would create jobs. If the people of Nebraska support the pipeline, it should be built.

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